I’m currently co-leading a 200-hour teacher training with the one and only Gina Caputo. This amazing women (fondly referred to as Captain Colorado) inspires daily with her vast knowledge of yoga and ferocious sense of humor. A passionate nature worshiper, Gina shared her thoughts on the climate of the yoga world today, staying inspired, and leading by example.
Gina Caputo on What's Really Important
Kathryn Budig: How do you share your yoga?
Gina Caputo: I aim to share my yoga by living my whole life in alignment with the yogic objective of extraordinary consciousness. My first teacher, Max Strom, use to end every class with the intention that we all go forth and teach by example. So in taking time each day to revere the life force that flows through me and everyone I come into contact with and in feeling and expressing gratitude and appreciation for the blessings and the blessings in disguise, I practice yoga and try to teach by example.
"One of my favorite mantras is that it’s not important to be serious, it’s important to be sincere."
KB: You have an amazing ability to make me laugh until I cry and still impart unbelievable pearls of wisdom at the same time. How is humor and wisdom linked?
GC: Hmmmm…nobody’s ever asked me that before, I love it! So I guess the first thing I think of is that it’s important to recognize that they are not mutually exclusive. One of my favorite mantras is that it’s not important to be serious, it’s important to be sincere. So I sincerely cultivate wisdom, but I relax around that process and leave plenty of space to laugh and see the humor in the trials and tribulations of the journey. When it comes to gaining insight and wisdom about ourselves to know our Selves, a sense of humor is essential. Because if we can’t laugh at some of our discoveries, the funky and regressive behavioral grooves we all of a sudden see clearly, we’ll end up frustrated and disappointed.
Talking Yoga Trends
KB: What’s your take on modern day yoga? What trends inspire you and which ones would you like to see change?
GC: I’m grateful for the diversity of styles, perspectives, and teacher passions out there. Not every student is going to resonate with a particular style. And I’m interested in people moving from ordinary consciousness to extraordinary consciousness, and there must be many different portals and pathways. So we need that diversity!
Right now the “trend” that inspires me is growing discernment and questioning. For a lot of years we’ve been parroting things like “Yoga is a 5,000-year-old practice…” without investigation into what that means. And similarly, we’ve been practicing asanas in a particular way because we’re “supposed to” or “its traditional” or because “my teacher always taught…” And I’m loving that people are beginning to learn more about anatomy, physiology, psychology, and neuroscience and are now asking more questions, innovating, and teaching from a place of integrated awareness.
As far as what I’d like to see change? I’d like for yogis and especially teachers to lay off the constant emphasis on fancy poses in social media. I think some emphasis on the capacity of the human body as a practitioner is AWESOME and inspires, but when it’s exclusively the focus, I feel like it does a disservice to others and to the practice of yoga. I’d rather we rose to the challenge of expressing how yoga impacts every aspect of our lives and show what living yoga looks like.
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Gina Caputo's Life Philosophy: Live Full On
KB: If you had one important thought to impart on everyone reading this, what would it be?
GC: Don’t wait. Carpe diem! Life is precious and fleeting and we must fearlessly face that which keeps us from our potential. Do the hard, hard work to transcend those regressive patterns NOW. Seek the teachers who guide us toward that transformative edge. And at the same time, infuse your life with leisurely pursuits, see the humor in this journey, and get your butt out into Nature. What an essential teacher she is!!
Featured image by Peggy Dyer
About Kathryn Budig
Kathryn Budig is the yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and a presenter at YogaJournal LIVE!